With all of Australia's State capitals located on the coast, and all either building or planning major water desalination plants to "droughtproof" the country in an age of global warming, a new report from an expert panel has set alarm bells ringing.
The panel, known as GEG (Greenhouse Experts Group), reveals a down side to the desalination plans which has previously not been considered. Mr. Peter Piper, who grows and pickles greenhouse peppers has been in the industry for many years and chairs the GEG. Releasing the report yesterday, Mr. Piper said "GEG agrees that Australia needs more fresh water, in fact without it I couldn't pack a single peck of pickled peppers, but what our calculations show makes that seem like small bananas." Mr. Piper seemed confused when asked if he also grows greenhouse bananas.
"The effect on unemployment caused by dumping thousands of tons of sea salt onto world markets will be catastrophic, ruining several third world economies and depressing salt prices globally for the foreseeable future." Mr. Piper claimed.
Mrs. Iva Bloom, well know greenhouse rose grower and secretary of GEG says desalination plans will raise further thorny problems: "The energy needed to operate these plants will require the construction of at least six major coal-fired power stations. This will increase Australia's CO2 emissions by about 15% by the year 2012. This in turn will increase global warming with a corresponding increase in glacial and ice cap melting. The rise in sea levels as a result will see all of the desalination plants under at least 2 meters of water by 2025. At this time we will have pure fresh water leaving one end of the plants, and pure sea salt leaving the other end, and both flowing back into the oceans."
Asked to comment on the GEG report Environment Minister Mr. Rock Singer said "We have to take the long term view. We can't solve all the world's problems immediately. He who hesitates is lost. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. It is all the fault of the previous Government. I will have my department look into it. It's just scaremongering. I'll need time to set up a new panel to contradict this report. Trust me, I'm a politician." Opposition spokeswoman Priscilla Slashburn said that she agrees completely with someone, although the Minister should know better. She will refer the matter to her 10 year old son and will make a full statement as soon as she finds out what she is supposed to think about whatever it is she was asked about. "I hope that clarifies the matter." she conclude confidently.